China is on track to overtake Germany and become the world's third biggest automaker in 2005, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Currently the world's fourth largest vehicle market, China is expected to produce more than 6m cars, trucks and buses in 2005, up 20% from 2004, the association said. Only the United States and Japan would be bigger producers. Commenting on the figures, Zhang Xiaoyu, chairman of Society of Automotive Engineers of China said that while China had seen a sharp slowdown in sales in 2004, companies have since adapted to market conditions and sales were expected to accelerate. Overall China's auto market cooled in 2004, but sales were still up 15.5% to 5.07m vehicles after a gain of 34.2% in 2003. For 2005 the car market is forecast to see growth of 10% to 15%, still well above growth rates of less than 3% in most developed markets.
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